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Rider or bike? VFR1000FD cornering


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I have a fairly low-mileage (~28000 km) 2015 VFR with fairly new tires (<5000 km) but haven't actually been on a long winding trip for years. Went with a few friends with 800-900cc adventure motorcycles and they kicked my ass on the winding roads. I have ridden the really old VFR750 to the ground and had much more confidence in it, but that was years ago. I really lack the confidence of going into blind corners since there I don't really consider this bike flickable

Suspension is probably stock, haven't messed with it. I only remembered to check the pressures afterwards, they were 2.2 and 2.6 instead of 2.5 and 2.9 stock, not sure if that makes a huge difference. I had to switch the bike into manual mode to get some stability with higher RPMs (~5000). Rear brake is very weak IMHO but both Honda and the inspection guys said it was within spec. Tires are some Continental SportAttack 3, I think.

I'm not the greatest rider, I admit, but the bike seems somehow hard to steer and hard to flick compared to other bikes, I'm getting a real workout. Suspension seems to do its job just fine, though not sure how far it is from factory or stock performance.

 

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An easy quick thing to tryout... raise the forks in the triple clamps 10 - 15mm... 

Cant really comment on how the setup on the stock 8th gen is, but on my 5th gen, 

it steered like a truck until I raised the forks. And actually, I lengthend the shock by about 15mm too. 

If you want to go farther than that, suspension upgrades work wonders. 

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I would definitely try pumping up your tyres first. I find 40psi (2.8 Bar) front and 42psi (2.9 Bar) rear makes my VFR1200 handle a lot better.

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Must admit I struggled with the suspension when I first got mine. Completely changed when I had it upgraded. Not cheap but worth every penny.

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I find mine feels planted at very high speed but at low speed it's not great. I have had two and they were the same so it just seems to be a characteristic of the bike. No doubt in mind this is one of the reasons it failed so badly. I have a Nitron R2 on the back and it hasn't made as much of a difference as I had hoped.

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^   All of the above, in addition to the VFR1200 having a 4 inch longer wheelbase that the VFR800 making it a bit more work to hustle through the tight stuff. I raised my forks (lowered the front) and shimmed the rear shock as far as it would go. Also upgraded the shock and forks, and put some spiegler upright supermoto type bars on it. Now it handles how I like it, but it still makes you huff and puff when you're trying to keep up with sportsbikes... remember it weighs 600 pounds too...

 

    Get some rubber that turns in better, I always liked the Pirelli Angel GT and any of the Road2, Road4, Road5 series tires - have not tried the road 6's but I'm sure they are good too. I run a few psi less than the sticker on the bike, but running it at (42/36 I think) as suggested makes it turn easier too. Also work on your rider skills and soon you will be shredding the tires to the edge. Honda made the bike at the touring end of sporty, if there is such a thing, from the factory.

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Thank you everyone for the replies. I was expecting I would get an email notification but never did which is why I'm responding so late.

 

I'm used to burning the rubber on edge on most bikes, but don't feel safe with this one. Just had a talk with the previous owner who switched to the X variant and he said that that bike feels about the same, just a bit more maneuverable. He also loses grip on the back wheel with no rider input.

 

I will try lowering the front and also some recommended suspension settings. The most disconcerting feeling is the loss of grip on the back, it happens quite often to me which I think it means I'm close to the limit, so it's either the tires or suspension. The bike should be able to lean down to the pegs, I refuse to think that it was never meant to do that.

 

I also have some professional riders turned bike mechanics near me, will try to get an appointment with one of them and will report here if I have something interesting.

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Lowering the front will provide more rear grip? Please explain. 

 

There are a lot of variables and sub-variables. Tires alone would require you to look at PSI, date codes, marking them to see if they're spinning on a rim (more common than you might think), uneven wear creating low traction zones from this rubber or high spots. 

 

Ergonomics and body position.

 

Suspension components, settings, and geometry. 

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7 hours ago, brainwashed said:

Thank you everyone for the replies. I was expecting I would get an email notification but never did which is why I'm responding so late.

 

I'm used to burning the rubber on edge on most bikes, but don't feel safe with this one. Just had a talk with the previous owner who switched to the X variant and he said that that bike feels about the same, just a bit more maneuverable. He also loses grip on the back wheel with no rider input.

 

I will try lowering the front and also some recommended suspension settings. The most disconcerting feeling is the loss of grip on the back, it happens quite often to me which I think it means I'm close to the limit, so it's either the tires or suspension. The bike should be able to lean down to the pegs, I refuse to think that it was never meant to do that.

 

I also have some professional riders turned bike mechanics near me, will try to get an appointment with one of them and will report here if I have something interesting.

 

I sympathise with your issue here, but the VFR1200 you speak of is not remotely the same as my experience of mine or the 2 VFR1200s my mates ride.

 

There are 2 areas where you may find the issue/solution:

 

The bike - not heard of a VFR1200 acting like this but it is NOT NORMAL. Either you have a suspension issue and/or a tyre issue. 

 

The Rider - either your expectations are not aligned with the rest of us who find the bike awesome, your riding style and/or your experience (linked to expectation).

 

Do you have anyone you know who owns a 1200 that you could swap bikes with and see if it's the bike or you?

 

Whichever it is I hope you are able to sort it as the VFR1200 is an outstanding motorcycle. Feels safe at whatever speed and angle of bank right up to the limit of the tyre.

 

 

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On 7/10/2024 at 3:48 PM, RC1237V said:

^   All of the above, in addition to the VFR1200 having a 4 inch longer wheelbase that the VFR800 making it a bit more work to hustle through the tight stuff. I raised my forks (lowered the front) and shimmed the rear shock as far as it would go. Also upgraded the shock and forks, and put some spiegler upright supermoto type bars on it. Now it handles how I like it, but it still makes you huff and puff when you're trying to keep up with sportsbikes... remember it weighs 600 pounds too...

 

    Get some rubber that turns in better, I always liked the Pirelli Angel GT and any of the Road2, Road4, Road5 series tires - have not tried the road 6's but I'm sure they are good too. I run a few psi less than the sticker on the bike, but running it at (42/36 I think) as suggested makes it turn easier too. Also work on your rider skills and soon you will be shredding the tires to the edge. Honda made the bike at the touring end of sporty, if there is such a thing, from the factory.

+1 on the tyres comments. Personally I find the Michelin Road5/6 to have a more "eager" turn-in which I like. Continental and Metzeler have tended to be more "steady as she goes" tyres which can calm a frisky bike down a little. 

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